New Delhi: India went down fighting 3-4 to South Africa in its last friendly in the run-up to the Tri-Nation at La Albericia, the capital city of Cantabria, on Wednesday.
The goal scorers for India were Danish Mujtaba, Sandeep Singh and SK Uthappa while Clinton Panther, Thoton McDade, Llyod Norris-Jones and Justin Reid Ross were on target for South Africa, a Hockey India media release said.
Clinton Panther put South Africa ahead in the 9th minute, scoring a field goal. Thoton McDade scored another goal for his team in the 17th minute. India reduced the margin four minutes later with the field goal scored by forward Danish Mujtaba.
Going into the second half India created good moves penetrating in the circle and leveled 2-2 in the 47th minute through a penalty corner converted by Sandeep Singh. However three minutes later Llyod Norris- Jones put South Africa ahead. India fought back strongly and equalized seven minutes later through a field goal by SK Uthappa.
South Africa scored the winning goal in the 61st minute through a penalty corner by Justin Reid.
In the run-up to the Tri-Nation India drew Spain 3-3 before losing the second test 1-2 and beat South Africa 6-5 in the first friendly. The four matches helped the Indian players adjust to the blue turf.
India will now play against Great Britain on 14th July 2012 in the inaugural match of Tri-Nation series at Santander, Spain.